PAGE 3 - N.C. ESSAY
by Celia Sparger
HER MEDITATIONS ON DEATH
“Alas that a man must live till death visit him! ”
-D.H. Lawrence -
I . Her Father
No one dared embrace him;
Dared to ask, “Why are you so sUent?”
He embraced no one
he should have loved;
Spoke no words beyond the howdy-do
he learned in earlier days.
A dead man, he refused to die,
Insistent on staggering lamely
through the skeletal routine (tf his life.
Perhaps he is what is meant by ghosts.
by Robin Kaplan
When two clouds meet.
Breaking the death and distance
Deeply to be distrusted,
Light lingers there
In airy cages;
Fleetfoot and fancy
Awake warm like someone
Who left bed to lean on a windowsill,
To watch dawn on early scattered greens.
by Mary Woodell
“there must be some mistake.”
he shouted to be heard above the roar,
and the naked firelight threw his wavered face
against the stars
and warped it
in its agony.
“i am not your master.”
but the starving ones knew better.
“save us,” they screamed;
all faces merged into a single, wailing storm,
and as he watched it pulsed and grew heavy with wanting.
the manchild saw with fear and quiet.
“love us.” “teach us.” “we believe.”
he saw that the storm bore the face of a snake
and the python writhed and howled around him.
“lead us, damn you, why are you silent?”
he spread his bloody hands in hurting.
“i am a man.”
and his tears scalded the sky.
Perhaps easier to be stricken
By ^e man dying in bed.
He, unembittered, understands
That life shall be this bed;
Those around him are unable
to check tears of daily disappointments.
He smiles strength in death’s face.
Allowing their tears in his presence.
Then I met the man
Who’d hold my love forever.
But as days passed, we together,
I saw his death
foreshadowded in his life -
He, too, would die alive.
Unless I should die as well,
I have to leave him.
The last casket has been removed from the sitting room—
That makes all five: Mark, the four children.
She was there each time with one less beside her.
The first time there had been tears and grief.
Tears for the second and third.
For the fourth and fifth, watching without seeing.
She needs no strength, has no strength now, for the sixth.
The oils of Mark and of the children
(she keeps the photographs in her desk drawer)
Do not bring comfort of fond memories,
of the days when they were being paint^.
The images magnify the abscence of each one —
The life she had when the family was alive.
Sheets cover Mark’s easychair and footstool,
The springs, worn-out from too many bouncing bodies,
have been replaced in the couch.
Only dust has settled where once dirty feet left their prints —
Oh, to spend Saturday mornings cleaning the furniture!
The picture window does not reflect the busy street;
(businessmen driving too and home from work,
chUdren shouting and playing on their way to and home from school).
It mirrors each tear slowly making its way down her face.
Alone now in the sitting room, she sits, unmoving,
Knowing that with the last tear, the last breath
(How many more miles of te^?),
The strongest one, she is the last,
WiU be left alone to die.
by Wanda Crouse
I wanted to write a poem about love, but -
The sound evades me.
Does it sound like a grasshopper
Sharpening its front legs or
Spitting its tobacco juice?
Is it a sweet painful sound
Sensed, felt, heard only by lovers?
The sound of suspension is like -
Humming birds, swift; evasive.
There is a sound to its color!
It is music but the harmony is so refined.
It is undefined.
The sound of its speed - swift - still - motionless.
The sound of its force - pulls - pushes - molds;
The lash of a whip is missing - no sound of it.
Lovers, without a blow from man-made tools.
Build bridges, climb trellises.
There is a deafening sound of love’s absence.
Its leavetaking screams, echoes, reverberates, mocks!
Leaving a void, a massive weight - waiting
To be created.
Day ends, sunset has risen elsewhere.
Dust lines the mouth before March rains;
Spring drifts like passing words.
Trees to be chopped for fences
Aim their last shadows at plowed fields
Forbidding com to grow.
Now I go from you.
Like the merging colors of a dream.
Into the gaze ^ other men
To speak in words that live and meet.
To find poetry in this lost translation
Of dead love and stubborn habit;
I know a place where intuition is not silence
And kings have no subjects.
by E- Henry Power
Fireflies floating past
lighting now darkened world
how softly they move.
Sun shining down here
alone it bakes drying earth,
the sun wrinkled raisin.
Fireflies etehing dim patterns
smile quietly in my dark night,
their trails far gone.
Crystal grass shines light,
a darlmess snatehes the blade,
quiet reverie gone.
Gold sun comes at mom,
gUds trees to sunny yellow;
autumn maples laugh.
Sun crackles brightly,
then thunderhead sweeps it past.
Now gone is the sun.
wounded and angered in bitter regret,
by the eyes of the one they had chosen,
ttie recoiling crowd hissed and bumed
while their ruined hope of Jesus stood in sorrow.
the teacher cried out only once
when he saw them coming.
they crushed him and naUed him to the night,
but he cried out once.
and it was the cry of God.
by Maria Latfimore
he catohes the moted morning sun
and turns it mystically to sing hius warmth
as dusky dreams of birds in swiftness
surmount the shadow trees
there is a manchild plays on an island shore
giving wind to wind through flute of wood
celebrating loon laughter and moist echoes
of sun with meadowgrass and early morning waters’ song
in emberglow of yeardusk setting sun
midst harvest grass and earthen smell of
fallen leaves i lie insoaking autumnchill
as nightwind dewfire fills his snowbom moon
as cricketehoir invoices evenquiet
nightswift traverses homeward as my thoughts
bi^ black against the sky of afterday
and leaves a star
a cold grizzly grey
stole in from the sea
and none saw
enshrouding dark spmces
tall murmuring ghosts
damp forest floor breathes
feathem fem furls
and gull as stark shadow
high gliding cries
seaweed seethes slowly
hushed tide gently draws
quiet sea over salt stones
(rf a pebble-strewn strand
across the mud path
through the sunset wood
on a spider thread.
by Chris Coan
If love has been lost.
Then you have lost not.
But have won what might
Have been better lost ttian won.
Love is like A Sweet Pepper
So much being am I, I feel like to burst
Would bring relief with a sigh, just to quench my thirst.
Love is but one sorrow as each new dawn begins,
Always and always tomorrow, until such feelings end.
And the worst of worse plays itself on me,
'Til is pronounced the curse that locks and throws the key.
The Wood Fire
Fire is a cruel thing;
It consumes that which
Once lived and breathed....
But then again, Fire is a
Utilitarian thing, because
What good is life when it has gone?
Since last we talked what has happened,
My world is now...
Which bares me past my zenith.
My heaven is reached...no passed.
My LIFE IS LIVING!